Written by: PP on 29/12/2013 21:50:37

When Creations released "The Gospel" two years ago, they were characterized by karate mosh friendly, punishing one chord chug-chug sections instrumentally. They were, however, redeemed slightly by vocal work courtesy of Michael Foss, who brought a new meaning to preachy lyricism through his extremist Christian stance throughout the record that made it an interesting listen compared to many of their contemporaries in Christian metalcore and deathcore. He has since departed the band, so new album "Unworthy/Humility" sees a new guy behind the pipes who goes under the name of Thomas Hirst (ex-The Gun Show). While he shares similarly staunch arch-conservative Christian values as his predecessor, he does not share his talent for conveying these neither through his growl nor his lyrical ability in the same manner.

This is an interesting development because Creations have arguably gotten better instrumentally, now adding a little more variety to their previously one-dimensional one chord chug sessions. These may still be the main driving force behind their expression, but as songs like "None Of Me (Humility)" and "Depths Of Me (Unworthy)" demonstrate, they now also include brooding death metal esque ambiance, serpentine riffs, and blackened death metal melodies in supplement. This turns out to be a zero-sum game though because the vocals have taken such a step backwards it is now extremely difficult to distinguish Creations from many of their contemporary deathcore bands who also have turned towards death metal for inspiration. Hirst is simply not a worthy replacement in this scribe's opinion, for two primary reasons: one, his enunciation is worse, which makes it difficult to follow what he screams. While he is spreading the word of Christ similarly as Foss did in his lyricism, he isn't anywhere near as preachy in comparison. That was one of the key aspects that set Creations apart on their previous album from the dozens and dozens of other deathcore bands - he was so preachy that you had no choice but to listen, if for no other reason than to listen to him with a puzzling look on your face asking "you can't really mean it like that". For better or worse, he made you listen, and that's not the case with Hirst. Secondly, his style is a lower-end growl, which is far more anonymous and monotonous in comparison.

Nowhere else is this more clear than on "Chasing The Wind (Vanity)", "Home Is What I Left (Betrayer)", and "Paid In Full (My Neglect)", all tracks which feature guest appearances of more capable vocalists. The former one sees Brook Reeves of Impending Doom lending his help, the middle one With Blood Comes Cleansing vocalist Dean, and the latter features a return of Michael Foss for just one track to help out Hirst. All three vocalists give more flavor to their expression than Hirst is able to do alone; while he is not an awful vocalist, he's technically behind the others by most standards. So that presents an interesting conundrum from Creations: they've become a better band - open-ended chugging is no longer as disproportionately representative of their sound as it was before - but their vocal department has faltered with the change. Deathcore warriors may disagree with my argument here, given that Hirst growls at a lower and thus more brutalized manner than his colleague, but he makes it difficult to follow along the lyrics in the same way as before, hence the overall expression is immediately less interesting than before.


Download: Depths Of Me (Unworthy), Home Is What I Left (Betrayer), None Of Me (Humility)
For the fans of: The Acacia Strain, Impending Doom, The Gun Show
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.06.2013

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